Consider this your Public Service Announcement:
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOLKS !!!!
Earlier this month, marathoner Sally Meyerhoff was out doing some cross training on her bike. She was hit by a passing truck and was killed.
Sally was an elite athlete, having already qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials with a winning time of 2:37:55 at the recent Rock-n-Roll Phoenix marathon.
Sad, sad news.
Unfortunately it is becoming an all too common occurence in the automobile vs cyclist world today. I hear about these accidents a few times a month and it really scares the hell out of me.
I personally feel way more in control when I’m running. Maybe that’s because I can SEE the cars coming at me (deer in headlights does come to mind) and SEE the drivers themselves. I also have some sort of security knowing I can dive in the grass or ditch if I need to do so. I’m a planner and so I always have a plan….sometimes,…well, most of the time anyway.
When I’m riding, all bets are off and all plans are gone. I hear a car coming and my entire body tenses up so tightly its amazing my shoulders do not have to be surgically removed from my earlobes. Simply put, there is just no way to ever tell what’s coming up the road (yes, size does matter!) and if the tank operator is eating, dialing, texting, reading, applying the morning mascera, suffering a stroke, or beating the crap out of the kiddos in the backseat.
As a cyclist, you are in a very uncomfortable and vulnerable position. I really do loathe being uncomfortable OR vulnerable, much less both, so I do try to minimize this at all costs. It’s why I prefer to ride early in the morning, before the commutes begin, but then AquaDoc pointed out the drunks were just leaving the local bars 🙄 ….so really, it’s a no win situation!
I did stumble across some interesting factoids that would be good for everyone to remember while out and about (running, walking, biking, skateboarding, rollerblading…whatever it is you do) on the open roads.
- Pedestrians think drivers can see them up to twice as far away as drivers actually do.
- Drivers often have no clue about how fast they are driving. In a study measuring the speed of drivers as they passed children waiting to cross a street, drivers thought they were going at least 12 mph slower than they actually were (i.e., they thought they were going 18-25 mph when they were actually doing 30-37 mph).During night driving, according to one expert, a driver would have to be going no more than 20 mph to ensure seeing every potential hazard in time to stop, including, say, a runner in reflective clothing.
- Above 20 mph, drivers begin to lose eye contact with pedestrians, and the chances of a pedestrian dying if hit by a car increase dramatically.
This is why it is so important…actually, it is downright imperative that everyone have ID on them AT ALL TIMES, in the event of an accident or medical emergency. If you don’t have one yet, I recommend everyone purchase some sort of ID from our friends over at:
There are numerous options and it is too simple NOT to do. I have a bright yellow and bright orange one from the elite series. I love the silicone band because doesn’t rub my wrist and irritate me while training and doesn’t get stinky from all the sweat. I haven’t tried any of the other styles so I can’t comment on them, but they look equally as nice. If someone out there has the sport, shoe or ankle ID let me know how they work for you.
My biggest problem is remembering to wear it when I run shorter distances and don’t fully “gear up” (ie..no nutrition, water bottles) and when I race. I’m going to work on this though and place it on my checklist because above and beyond all other essentials, THIS is the most important piece utilized.
And just like the others, it can only be useful if it’s ACTUALLY worn.
Train Safely, My Friends!